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ElevateNext 2020 Vision Series: Lucy Bassli Interview

December 13, 2019

elevatenext practice of law

This week marks a year since the launch of ElevateNext, and what better way to celebrate than with another instalment of our ElevateNext 2020 Vision Blog series! This is the third post in the series, in which we ask legal industry visionaries to use their “2020 Vision” to predict what the industry will look like in 2025. This post features Lucy Bassli, currently the Deputy General Counsel of Snowflake, “the only data warehouse built for the cloud.” Lucy is known for coining the phrase “unicorn lawyers” to describe those special lawyers who know law, but also love, understand and value process and technology.

Nicole Auerbach & Patrick Lamb

Founders, ElevateNext

Interview with Lucy Bassli

Lucy Bassli

Lucy Bassli

VP, Deputy General Counsel (Legal Ops), Advisor, Writer, Speaker

Lucy Endel Bassli is VP, Deputy General Counsel of legal operations, contracting and corporate G&A for Snowflake Inc., a cloud-based data-warehousing company. She is also founder of InnoLegal Services PLLC, a modern solution provider that consults on operationalizing the practice of law. Lucy works with law firms on innovating their legal service delivery and consumption models, and trains lawyers in innovative practices. Lucy also serves as legal strategy advisor for LawGeex, a cutting-edge AI legal tech start up automating contract review services.

In her 13 years at Microsoft, where she ran an enterprise contracting solution, Lucy focused on complex and global outsourcing contracts and gained firsthand experience in automation and legal outsourcing to assist her with high-volume contract transactions. She launched an innovative “managed services” engagement with law firms and worked on continuously improving the services received, for which she was recognized as an ACC Value Champion.

Prior to Microsoft, Lucy practiced law at Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP in Seattle, focusing on commercial transactions and commercial bankruptcy. She was named to The National Law Journal’s list of Outstanding Women Lawyers, 2015.

Q: What do you predict will be the two biggest changes in the legal profession as of 2025 and why?

I hope to see:

  1. A new default set amongst law firms where engagements are more commonly based on fixed fees and alternative structures, as more law firm mid-level partners understand the benefits; and
  2. Wider integration among lawyers of the other professionals and skillsets needed to deliver creative service solutions.

Q: What should be the biggest change as of 2025 but won’t be?

Use of technology by law firms to deliver services. Not back-office tech (billing, doc management, etc.), but automation of certain legal tasks for the benefit of reducing costs and increasing speed.

Q: If you could design something that does not exist right now that you think would be of help to you or the industry in 2025, what would it be?  

General business acumen: project management, financial savvy and data analytics.

Q: If the current you could give advice to the future you about anything (doesn’t have to be law-related), what would it be?

Don’t be disappointed if what you predict today does not all come to fruition. Any progress is good progress, and your perseverance will pay off.

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